Do you often feel as though you’re rushing around in your home, putting out one figurative fire after another? If you are always dealing with piles of clutter and the small crises that tend to occur when you have pets or young children in the home, it can make it difficult to keep up with the general housecleaning that needs to be done. If the thought of an impromptu visitor is enough to make you panic, you may need to get your cleaning routine under control. Here are some tips to help make your life easier:
Make time for the everyday chores every day
Some tasks really do need to be done daily. If you can schedule fifteen minutes or so, perhaps after dinner, where everyone pitches in, the house will stay clean with relatively little effort. These chores include cleaning up after dinner, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and giving bathrooms a quick wipe. Also, if you put food waste into your regular kitchen garbage, then that should be taken out daily. If you separate it, then just take out the small bag of food products each day and you can leave the regular kitchen garbage until it is full.
Determine how often other chores need to be done
Some jobs could be done daily in some families, but only weekly in others. It really depends on your own family’s needs. For example, some people prefer to get all of their laundry done once per week, while others like or need to do a load every day or every other day. Sweeping or vacuuming is similar: If you have small children or pets scattering crumbs and fur everywhere, you may need to do this daily, but if its just you and your adult partner, then you probably could get away with doing it once or twice per week. More serious bathroom cleaning, such as scrubbing toilets and spraying down the sink and counter area, could be done weekly, unless you have several children, in which case two or three times per week would be more sanitary. Dusting should usually be done each week, but it doesn’t make the job any harder to skip a week and do it just twice per month.
Write down monthly or quarterly jobs on the calendar
Then there are the jobs that don’t need to be done frequently, but they do need to be done monthly or every few months. One is scrubbing out the shower and bathtub; depending on your ventilation system and other factors, you might need to do this more frequently, but in general, scrubbing it monthly (and spritzing it with a shower cleaner daily) should keep mildew and soap scum at bay. Walk around with the glass cleaner and spritz the inside of the windows monthly, too, unless little fingers are leaving prints more frequently. Every quarter, wash the comforters on your beds and take apart your couches and chairs to vacuum inside. If you have a flippable mattress, this should be done every three months as well.
Keeping your house clean can reduce your stress, particularly when someone unexpectedly knocks on your door or you have a party to plan. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks; even small children can carry their dirty clothing to the hamper or dust with a feather duster. Take control of your household cleaning schedule and tame your clutter monster for good!